Tokyo, April 13 (IANS) International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has turned a blind eye to claims that the organisation was reluctant in postponing Tokyo 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic and dismissed “conspiracy theories” surrounding the decision to move the event to 2021.
In an interview with the German Sunday newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Bach also revealed the cost of the postponement of the Games to the IOC would be “several hundred million dollars” but said the exact amount was “not yet foreseeable at this moment”.
“In such emotional situations, as a responsible person, you cannot make decisions based on gut instinct,” Bach said.
“We really cannot be accused of hesitation or lack of advice and transparency.
“In order to counter conspiracy theories, it must be said clearly that the IOC was insured against a cancellation, but not insured in the case of a postponement.
“For a postponement, however, the approval of the Organising Committee, which must be willing to work a year longer, is required, and the Japanese Government must be willing to continue to support the preparations.”
The Games have been rescheduled for July 23 to August 8 2021.
“The top priority, of course, remains the health of the athletes and everyone involved in the Games and the containment of the virus,” Bach said.
“We will use this as a basis for all future decisions.”